AMG, now the official performance division of Mercedes-Benz, has a long history of producing high-performance derivatives of Mercedes’ standard production vehicles, and these improved versions enjoy an enthusiastic following world-wide, with prominent figures of motorsports, entertainment, sport, and business communities being counted among aficionados.
Offered here is a beautiful SL65 AMG Black Series, the third of this evocatively titled and exclusive limited-edition family that had begun with SLK55 in 2006. Intended as even more highly developed versions of Mercedes-Benz’s AMG performance models, the Black Series consists of two-seater fixed-head coupé designs only. In the case of the SL65, this meant abandoning the ‘ordinary’ version’s folding metal hardtop in favour of a fixed carbon fibre roof, which also made room for the Black Series’ retractable rear spoiler.
The SL65 AMG Black Series was unveiled at Monterey in 2008. The base-car SL65 AMG’s 6.0-litre V12 engine was retained for the Black Series, but received larger turbochargers, a bigger intercooler, a new exhaust system, and a suitably remapped ECU, resulting in an increase in maximum power to 661bhp (approximately a 10% improvement over the stock SL65 AMG) while torque went up to a mighty 738lb-ft, delivered between 2,200 and 4,200 revs. AMG’s engineers not only increased engine output but also trimmed 550 pounds off the car’s all-up weight courtesy of additional carbon fibre panels, further improving the power-to-weight ratio. The result was a 0-60mph time of 3.8 seconds, while top speed was electronically limited to 199mph. This stupendous performance reached the road via AMG’s Speedshift Plus multi-mode five-speed automatic gearbox.
As one would expect, given the Black Series raison d’être, the chassis too underwent considerable modification, featuring quicker steering, wider front and rear track, and redesigned suspension in the interests of enhanced road-holding and controllability. Mercedes-Benz recognized that many Black Series customers would wish to enjoy their cars on the racetrack (where else could one safely enjoy its performance to the full?) and thoughtfully made the multi-link suspension adjustable. The SL65 AMG Black Series rolled on AMG light-alloy wheels – 19.5” at the front, 20” at the rear – while stopping power was provided by 6-pot callipers at the front, 4-pot at the rear. Only 350 of these amazing cars were made worldwide.
This breath-taking example has covered less than 250km from new and would be a credit to any serious collection. It can only be one of a handful of these very limited production cars with such low mileage and surely presents as an excellent investment opportunity.